Getting It Right
Feltsman concert hits highs and lows of proficiency.
Thursday, January 14, 1999
Playing some composers requires only a little more than technical accuracy. (Although of course, technical accuracy is the bete noir of most musicians.) Getting it right for others, however, demands a much higher profile of interpretive personality. Vladimir Feltsman''s recital at Sunset Center this week demonstrated both sides of the proficiency issue.
Schumann''s Carnaval didn''t sound quite like Mardi Gras in Rio de Janeiro. However, its individual characters did. Liberated by breathtaking virtuosity, Feltsman''s images became as vividly weird as the freaks who populate The Shining, that hallucinogenic Stephen King movie. This is exactly what the Schumann craves, and Feltsman justified his worldwide reputation with kaleidoscopic dazzle.
By comparison, everything else paled. Feltsman''s reputation as a Bach pianist gained nothing from his perusal of the Partita in C Minor, S826. Here was a pianist warming up, even compromising tempos to make the voices fit together.
Things improved during Mozart''s Sonata in C, K303, an unequivocal gem of a piece that invites and increasingly got the temperament and flair that would fully flower in the Schumann. Curious how Mozart manages to succeed in both camps, the literal as well as the flamboyant. That very capacity gave Feltsman the room he needed to come fully alive.
Following an exceptionally short program, Feltsman allowed one encore, a prelude from Bach''s notebook for his first-born son Wilhelm Friedemann, in a overly sweet Alexander Siloti transcription.
Last Week''s Quiz It''s the annual Big One, with prizes and a deadline of Jan. 22. See CW of Jan. 7, p. 25, for details.
Gospel Hummingbirds Saturday, 8pm. Salinas Concert Association hosts vocal quartet and instrumental trio. Hartnell College, 156 Homestead Ave., Salinas. $18/adults; $10/students. 754-6829.
Ensemble Monterey Winds Saturday, 8pm. John Anderson conducts Emile Bernard''s Divertissement, Reynaldo Hahn''s Le bal de Beatrice d''Este (conducted by Brian Handley), Richard Strauss'' Suite in B flat. Music Hall, Monterey Peninsula College, 980 Fremont St., Monterey. $12, $15. 646-4205.
Guitarist Mesut zgen Wednesday, 8pm. Turkish-born pupil of Benjamin Verdery performs Dowland, J.S. Bach, Barrios, Beaser, others. Music Center Recital Hall, U.C. Santa Cruz. $8/general, $6/seniors, $4/students.